"Knowing what I know now, about God and His Sovereignty...
Somewhere there is a heart willing to listen to this story about this little girl, orange carpet, hollyhocks, a small town ...and violence. Somewhere there is surely someone who will read Your story and see the Grace and Mercy in your life...and God will use you to touch that person, for His Glory.

Your story touches my heart, Pat "

Friday, August 10, 2012

Mirror Mirror

As the queen stands before her mirror, she waits for the right answer.
"mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?"
As long as the mirror gave her the answer she was looking for, all was well; but as soon as Snow White became the fairest in the land, the queen was enraged.
Determined to once again capture the mirrors favor she was willing to do anything, and anyone in her way was expendable.
I first saw the concept of associating the world as a mirror when researching Narcissism. It sums it up pretty well. You, in a narcissists life are merely a mirror.
It would seem a cold statement to say you have no value to them, but it would be a true statement.
As in Greek mythology Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection, so it is today with the modern narcissist. Only seeing themselves, unable to love another, the narcissist wastes his or her life admiring themselves and ignoring all others.
If you have one in your life you may wonder what I mean by ignoring, for it seems as though they are the proverbial thorn in your side. Always there, always taking, lying, manipulating, but what they are doing is ignoring you. Ignoring the needs or feelings of others is the only way to survive when you are narcissistic, the world simply gets in your way.
Enter the mirror.
You are a mirror for a narcissist. You must reflect a beautiful image. If you do not, there will be hell to pay.
Should the narcissist gaze upon you, and you in return smile, nod and follow along, you are showing a positive reflection.
Should you frown, disagree or challenge in any way, you have now smudged or cracked the mirror and tainted the reflection.
At any cost the narcissist will not take the blame, you will now be ridiculed, isolated and punished until you once again cast a perfect reflection.
Unable to see both good and bad in a person or situation, they will place you on a list. My mother's categories were 1- They are really shitty to me or 2- they have really changed.
List one was for those who smudged her reflection and list two was for the ones who didn't question her or call her on her lies. You could only be on one list. I often held the number one position on list number one.

Sometimes now as I look back I think it wasn't that bad. All in all, it probably wasn't, but then I read about narcissism, and the pit of my stomach hurts. I quickly get overwhelmed and can read very little, the words cut like knives.

The most profound and sobering comment I ever read was written by Sam Vaknin in Malicious Self Love.( I have written of this in another post as well.)
I am paraphrasing from memory,
 having a narcissist for a mother is like having a 6 year old for a parent. The child has a doll that it plays with, when the child is finished with the doll or has no use for it, they simply throw it on the ground and move on.

a worthless doll
move on to something better

It was the first time I had seen something that validated how I felt. Something that said, it was real. You're not crazy. You didn't imagine it.

It seems a vague memory, all the hurt. Being tossed aside for something better or being displayed when needed seems so long ago, healing is a wonderful thing. Healing allows you to move on and set boundaries,  it keeps you from being tossed aside and ignored.
 Healing is also ongoing, if you have a narcissist in your life, they will reoffend. They will return to your mirror and check their reflection, some days it will go well, others will not. And there will always be hell to pay, you must as the child, spouse, parent or friend of a narcissist- refuse to pay it.

I have also heard it said it is not enough that the narcissist be the center of their universe, but they must also be the center of your universe.
Wicked really.

Further reading on Narcissism
Characteristics of Narcissistic Mothers
Narcissistic Personality Disorder NPD
NPD Quiz


Ava said...

I don't know if you realise it Shannon but you are describing a certain part of my life.....the stuff I always think I've dealt with but then out of the blue.... it strikes again and I realise I still care. My mother and I have had a tricky week...your timing is perfect. Much love (and thanks) xx

nancygrayce said...

Oh, what a truly true post! My oldest is my narcissist. It has been painful for me, but oh the hurt I've seen in his children is so much worse. I have finally, finally learned to distance myself from him.....sad. Thanks for this! I stumbled on your blog and am so glad!